I had a brief intimate encounter with a colleague's wife and he found out about it. I have stated my extreme sorrow and regret over this event however he says we will no longer be able to work together.

In the meantime I have been out of the office for the last 6 weeks either taking vacation or working from home to grant him his wish to not see me. This is not a long term solution and at some point I will need to start coming back into the office. The office is open concept and has 25-30 employees. Ontario, Canada

So my question is - can I be fired? If he complains that he is unable to work in the same room does the firm have that right? Obviously I will no longer be viewed in a positive light.

  • 2
    @JoeStrazzere Only if it is at will
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:49
  • 4
    @Paparazzi Don't be so sure. They'll just fire him for cause under some vague violation of the employee manual. Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:51
  • 2
    I mean, do you really want to stick around after that kind of thing happened anyway?
    – pay
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:56
  • 2
    Are you asking whether your company can legally fire you (off-topic here), whether you will be fired (impossible for us to say) or whether it would be ethical/professional for your company to fire you over this? Or are you looking for ways to do damage control and try to salvage this job?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 21:07
  • 2
    You have broken a trust, I think it's time to leave.
    – cdkMoose
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


While not an on the job conduct, you've still managed to create a very uncomfortable workplace environment.

If I were you, I'd update my resume and get out before you are fired. If I were your boss, I'd get rid of you ASAP as you've demonstrated yourself to be of low character and not someone I'd want working at my company.

From a strictly risk-analysis standpoint, I would look better if I fired you rather than risk the loss of your coworker and the possible lawsuit from him for not firing you.

I'd have a much better chance of winning a lawsuit against you than against an employee who had to leave because he couldn't stand working with the one who slept with his wife.

In the days of social media, I also wouldn't want to risk someone posting about me keeping the cheater over the one who was cheated on.

There is no scenario where there is any advantage to your employer keeping you over your coworker.

So, I expect that your work will be found to be sub par, you will have been found to have violated some obscure rule on page 247 of the employee manual, and various and sundry other reasons to get rid of you that won't say on paper that it was because you slept with your coworkers wife.

But, oh yes, you can be fired, and probably will be. Update the resume and move on.

  • 4
    I don't think you can sue someone for a guy not being fired when you sleep with his wife. In fact, I'm pretty sure you still couldn't sue if they made video on it and put the video online.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 6:19
  • @Magisch in the USA, you can sue a ham sandwich. We don't have "loser pays", so the courts can and have been used as a means of legal harassment. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 10:16
  • 2
    in Canada, you couldn't be fired for that BUT they can always find other reasons. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 10:43
  • @SaggingRufus exactly. Work will be found to be sub-par, violations of rarely enforced policies will be cited, et cetera. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 12:27

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